Everyone loves a rematch.
The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs will go head-to-head for the second straight year in the 2014 NBA Finals, but will the outcome be different this time around?
The Heat won famously after a five-point final minute in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals swung momentum in their favor. San Antonio has lived with this outcome for the past year, and head coach Gregg Popovich will ensure that his team is ready to close out games this series.
It all gets started in Game 1.
Don't miss the opening tip of what is sure to be a compelling finale to the NBA season. Below is the complete TV schedule for the game, as well as the latest quotes from some of the game's biggest names.
|Date||Matchup||Start Time (ET)||Channel||Live Stream|
|Thu, June 5||Game 1: Heat at Spurs||9 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN|
There isn't necessarily bad blood between these two teams, but it's clear that this is a rivalry that will only grow after this series concludes.
Tim Duncan got the talks started by telling the media on Saturday that he was happy that he was going up against the Heat again, via Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel: "We're happy to have another opportunity at it. We're happy it's the Heat again."
With revenge on his mind, Duncan is certainly happy it's Miami again. Throw in the fact that Miami struggled at times this season against a weak Eastern Conference, and he should be ecstatic that Miami is his next opponent.
LeBron James didn't waste any time in firing back at Duncan, however, via Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today: "They don't like us. They don't. I can sense it from Timmy's comments over the last couple of days. … They want us, so they got us."
James and his running mates won't let San Antonio run all over them. It will be a physical, emotional series that will be won by the team that plays best in the final minutes.
Popovich is confident in his team heading into the series. He thinks his team has grown tremendously since last year's devastation, via John Schuhmann and Sekou Smith of NBA.com:
Our guys, they actually grew from the loss last year. I call it fortitude. I think they showed an unbelievable amount of fortitude, if I can compliment my own team humbly, to have that tough loss, especially Game 6, and not have a pity party. To come back this year, get back to the same position, that's fortitude. I'm really proud of them and even happier for them.
It will be interesting to see if the big stage doesn't haunt the Spurs as it did in Game 6 almost a full year ago. Duncan missed an easy layup with just seconds remaining that would have ended Miami's run. The defense let Popovich down by allowing those five points in the remaining 60 seconds.
When it comes to picking the Heat or the Spurs, the United States is a nation (almost) undivided. pic.twitter.com/y02a4P8d9b— ESPN (@espn) June 3, 2014
Heck, luck was even against them, as Ray Allen's corner-three drained the hopes of the entire city.
This time around, everything could be different. Make sure you tune into Game 1 to see the start of it all.